News: SD Army National Guard transfers authority to new Command Chief Warrant Officer
Story by Staff Sgt. Chad Carlson
RAPID CITY, SD – Maj. Gen. Timothy A. Reisch, the adjutant general for the South Dakota National Guard, officiated the change of authority from Chief Warrant Officer 5 Jerry Duba, who currently serves as the Command Chief Warrant Officer, to Chief Warrant Officer 5 Darla Crown, at the Duke Corning Armory on Camp Rapid at 9 a.m., April 3.
Duba is retiring with more than 31 years of military service.
“It’s been a wonderful experience for me,” said Duba. “I am very honored to have served as the command chief for such a great organization. “Darla is going to do great in this position. Her personnel background will serve the warrant officer corps very well and I have the utmost confidence that she will take things to a new level. I wish her the best of luck.”
Crown will become the 5th Command Chief Warrant Officer for the SDARNG, and has the added distinction of becoming the first female appointed into this prestigious position.
“It's a tremendous honor that comes with a great sense of responsibility, pride and humility,” said Crown. “For the past 37 years, I've been lucky to work with some of the greatest men and women in uniform. The warrant officers in the South Dakota Army National Guard are highly trained, technical experts and are ready to perform their mission.”
As the Command Chief Warrant Officer, Crown will serve as the senior warrant officer advisor to the adjutant general of the South Dakota National Guard. She will serve under the direction of the adjutant general to address warrant officer development and strength management of the Warrant Officer Corps.
“When you truly believe in an organization and its mission, the thought of serving at an executive level is very appealing,” said Crown. “It's so easy to say, ‘if I was in charge I'd do this or that different.’ It's a whole different ballgame when you're actually the one responsible for, and or advising on those issues. I plan to draw on my years of professional military and private sector experience and education to do the best job possible for the men and women of the Guard.”
She will be responsible for keeping the adjutant general informed and making recommendations in matters of warrant officer recruiting, morale, welfare, schooling, promotion and retention.
“With my background in counseling and education, I am eager to assist in all aspects of the Command Chief Warrant Officer duties,” Crown said. “Particularly, the career counseling and mentorship opportunities I’ll have with our warrant officers. I enjoy talking to soldiers about the benefits and rewards of serving as a Warrant Officer. I want to help them reach their potential while insuring we are inclusive and supportive of their family members, and remain trained and ready for our missions.”
She will also oversee a Warrant Officer Advisory Committee and serve as the spokesperson to advise the adjutant general and the chain of command on Warrant Officer Management.
Darla Crown joined the Army, nearly 38 years ago, after graduating from Wall High School in Wall, S.D., in 1973, for educational benefits and the opportunity to travel. After her three year commitment, she joined the SDARNG while attending college at Black Hills State University in Spearfish, S.D.
“When I was about to join the Army and sign the document to serve for three years, I asked my Mom and Dad ‘what happens if I don't like it?’ They told me ‘It will be whatever you make it. It all depends on your attitude.’ Those words have inspired me all these years to keep a positive attitude and set my goals high.”
That attitude has provided Crown a career filled with important milestones.
She became the first female in the SDARNG promoted to Chief Warrant Officer 5 in 2002, a relatively new rank for top warrant officers.
“I am inspired by the talent, dedication, and leadership of our command staff, and that of the warrant officers in South Dakota. I am optimistic and excited about the direction which our South Dakota Army National Guard is moving and I look forward to working in this capacity,” said Crown. “With the tremendous support and encouragement from my husband of 35 years, Douglas, my parents, Dean and Donna Belle Talty, and my family and friends, I have the confidence and courage to be successful.”